Missional community describes our church's small group ministry.
We call them "missional" beucase they are more than Bible studies--more, not less.
Here in South Jersey, we see missional communities as groups of people meeting regularly in one another's homes to focus on the four rhythms of story (learning God's Word and our place in it), celebration (sharing meals and life experiences together), service (showing mercy to those in need around us), and spiritual formation (holding one another accountable in small, same-sex groups).
We think these four rhythms or practices help make mature disciples, who are prepared and able to make other disciples of Jesus.
The benefits of a missional community is that it offers the dynamics of a smaller learning environment for people to learn about God, God's story in the Bible, and their part in it. It also offers an environment where people are able to actually learn together, rather than being in isolation.
A missional community isn't merely a learning community, though. It is a living community.
A meal offers a regular context for people to share life together, to live out the commands of Jesus (love God, love one another) together, and to bless and be a blessing to one another.
As the mission of Mercy Hill is to help people thrive in Christ, a missional community presents a context in which healthy Christian growth can be fostered. It is a significant part of what we mean by "church."
In these places, we are able to include, and show love to, those in whose lives God is at work.